Swiss IIoT tech startup VISENSE bags €750K in pre-seed funding to help industrial manufacturers battle machine downtime
In the past three years, over 80% of producers recorded an unexpected downtime in manufacturing leading to an hourly cost of up to $260.000, according to a recent report from Aberdeen Research. The situation is even direr in the industrial sector. Now, one tech startup is on a mission to help industrial manufacturers decrease unplanned downtime using computer vision and machine learning.
Enter VISENSE, a Switzerland-based industrial internet of things (IIoT) tech startup that provides diagnostic solutions and helps producers with insights into visual observable machine errors, allowing them to identify and avoid downtime losses. Unlike other IIoT computer vision solutions on the market, VISENSE exclusively focuses on machine processes to identify errors.
Today, VISENSE announced it has closed CHF 750.000 (approximately €750.000) in pre-seed funding round to further develop the AI and ML VISENSE software. The round was backed by Czech AI Startup Incubator, Swiss Serpentine Ventures and Venture Kick, German HPI Seed Fund, and several Business Angels.
Founded by co-founder and CEO Christian Reich, VISENSE diagnostic solution provides producers with insights into visual observable machine errors, allowing them to identify and avoid downtime losses. The startup has already initiated cooperation with manufacturers, including multinational automotive corporation BMW Group and companies in the packaging and piping system sectors.
Manufacturing losses by machine downtime
Unplanned downtime represents one of the major issues for manufacturers, causing loss of productivity and revenue, delays, and dissatisfaction among customers. According to Aberdeen Research, over 80% of producers recorded an unexpected downtime in the past three years, leading to an hourly cost of up to $260.000. A study by Vanson Bourne sponsored by ServiceMax revealed that more than 70% of manufacturers aren’t fully aware when their machines are due for maintenance, upgrade, or replacement. Other recent studies reported that downtime costs the industrial sector about $50 billion annually.
While manufacturers acknowledge the significance of downtime, they lack digitized tools and processes, data, time, and effective analysis methods, creating a need for developing and utilizing IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) solutions.
With the increasing demand for automation and quality inspection across the industrial manufacturing sector, VISENSE enters a market with high potential. According to Grand View Research, the global machine vision market is projected to grow at a 7.7% CAGR from $14.3 billion in 2021 to $25.9 billion in 2030.
Enhancing production processes and collaboration
The IIoT technology VISENSE, developed by a Swiss team, brings industrial producers a solution to the ongoing downtime issue. Using industrial cameras and selected sensors, VISENSE provides manufacturers with insights to quickly identify and resolve unexpected visually-observable industrial machine errors. The software utilizes computer vision and machine learning to deliver error analysis and digitalize processes around the machines.
In a statement, VISENSE co-founder and CEO Christian Reich said, “VISENSE is able to autonomously detect and save all occurring machine error incidents and replace expensive process observation by machine operators and planners. The technology doesn’t need any data integration, is installed within minutes, and has versatile areas of application – whether shortening the ramp-up of new or optimizing machines in operation and makes processes that are undetectable to the bare eye visible.”
“Manufacturers will be able to purchase products that provide necessary AI capabilities without outside support, saving them the cost of hiring external resources to oversee their AI-related projects. This is one of the fundamental presumptions VISENSE is working on with its product development. It has created the “eyes” and “brain” of a system that watches over and controls industrial robots and machinery in specific production environments. VISENSE is the first in line for this enormous leap in a future where machines would monitor their own and other machines’ work to ensure quality,” says Angelo Burgarello, Business Director, Partner, and Investor at AI Startup Incubator.
With VISENSE, manufacturers are able to cut the time needed to identify, report, and resolve errors by up to 50%. Unlike other IIoT solutions, VISENSE exclusively focuses on machine processes to identify errors. And while the system requires machines to have automated and visually-observable processes, it can be applied to any industry.
“As a particle physicist, data scientist with IIoT experience, and business angel, I am extraordinarily impressed by the team. After discovering their deep knowledge of solving customer problems and their intellectual capability to generalize solutions of individual projects into a single scalable data-driven framework, I knew that I had to invest as much as I could,” says Dr. Dehua Zhu, Business Angel and Investor of VISENSE.
As a sign of confidence in the company’s direction, VISENSE has already attracted substantial potential clients in the automotive, packaging, and piping system sectors, including the BMW Group, with whom the startup successfully completed a PoC (Proof of Concept) project and is currently working on integrating the solution across their plants.